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This slow cooker goulash is a quick-to-put-together American style goulash that cooks slowly without oversight and turns out so delicious and hearty.
Filled with pasta, ground beef, cheese, Italian seasonings, and tomato flavors - all things that are easy for you, and your family will love!
If you've been around my blog for any length of time, you know I love a good pasta meal, and cheese and ground beef make it all the more satisfying.
This slow cooker goulash is a favorite at my house - such meaty, cheesy, hearty goodness!
The only step that takes a bit more time is browning the ground beef. I usually like to avoid cooking any of the parts of a slow cooker recipe outside of the slow cooker.
However, ground beef is a tricky one since you want it to brown (which creates more flavor) and also be able to drain off any excess fat. Thus, the need for the pre-browning before adding to the slow cooker.
The browning of the meat is a quick process, though, that should only take you 5-10 minutes. And if you have one of those slow cookers that can be used on the stove top for browning, this recipe is perfect for that purpose.
What You'll Need
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 large onion
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- salt & ground black pepper
- sweet or smoked paprika
- oregano, basil, and marjoram (or Italian seasoning blend)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 4 cups beef or chicken broth
- rotini or macaroni pasta
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
How to Make
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef along with the chopped onion, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain off any excess fat.
Add meat and onion to your slow cooker and turn heat to high or low (depending on how quickly you want it to cook).
Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, basil, marjoram (or Italian seasoning mix), tomato paste, diced tomatoes (undrained), and broth and stir to incorporate.
I like to mash the paste with my spoon or spatula to blend it into the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
During the last 30 minutes of cook time, you will add the uncooked pasta and turn the heat down to low (if it was on high). Cover and let cook 30 minutes.
Once pasta is done, turn heat off, add the shredded cheese, and cover for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melty. Serve right away.
(Scroll down for full recipe and print capabilities)
Tips & FAQs
Yes, you can use any Italian seasoning blend that you have on hand.
Likewise, if you don't have any of the herbs listed, you can add more of another. For example, if you don't have basil or marjoram, you can use 1 Tablespoon of oregano.
Yes, it's better to brown the ground beef before adding to the slow cooker.
This will give you a nice browned meat that doesn't brown as readily in the slow cooker, and you will have the chance to drain off any excess fat.
It's best to add the pasta to the slow cooker uncooked. It will cook nicely in the broth and come out very flavorful. Otherwise, your meal will have too much liquid.
This is not advised, as the pasta will get too done and will likely be very mushy at the end of the cook time.
Pasta doesn't take long to cook, so you should wait to add it during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
I recommend serving with your favorite side salad, my Mediterranean Cucumber Salad, or Carrot Raisin Salad.
Cream Style Corn, Cream of Peas, or Sauteed Broccoli would also be fabulous vegetable side dishes to serve with this goulash.
Breads I recommend are a simple loaf of French bread or my flavorful Cheese Toast recipe.
ENJOY! And please share this slow cooker goulash recipe with your friends and family.
Don't forget to comment below with your comments and/or questions. I want to know if you made this recipe and how yours turns out.
Slow Cooker Goulash Recipe (Classic Crock Pot Goulash)
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon paprika sweet or smoked
- 1 teaspoon oregano dry
- 1 teaspoon marjoram dry
- 1 teaspoon basil dry
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes canned, undrained
- 4 cups beef broth or chicken
- 4 cups rotini pasta uncooked (or other small pasta such as macaroni, bowties, or penne)
- 4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef along with the chopped onion, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add meat and onion to your slow cooker and turn heat to high or low (depending on how quickly you want it to cook).
- Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, basil, marjoram (or Italian seasoning mix), tomato paste, diced tomatoes (undrained), and broth and stir to incorporate. (I like to mash the paste with my spoon or spatula to blend it into the rest of the ingredients.)
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- During the last 30 minutes of cook time, you will add the uncooked pasta and turn the heat down to low (if it was on high). Cover and let cook 30 minutes.
- Once pasta is done, turn heat off, add the shredded cheese, and cover for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melty. Serve right away.
- You can use 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning in place of the oregano, basil, and marjoram if you wish.
- It's pretty important to start the ground beef on the stove top. This way it will brown nicely (which improves flavor) as well as give you the opportunity to drain off any excess fat.
Don't Forget to Pin For Later!
Why top of recipe thread states 4 c of shredded cheese but printable recipe only calls for 2 cups?
Thanks for pointing that out, Connie! I'll fix it right away. Should say "4 cups" of cheese in the printable recipe card.
Can you use spaghetti sauce instead of the paste?
Marvel - The paste is thicker than sauce, so you would need to reduce your chicken broth if you used sauce instead. You can try it, but you'll get better results if you follow the recipe more closely. Let me know how yours turns out!
Will this work with ground Turkey or chicken? If so would the cooking time change?
Arielle - Should work well with either ground turkey or chicken. Cooking times should be the same.